Prof. Mukunda Rao is an author, translator and playwright. He has taught for over 30 years in Bangalore and has been associated with groups and organizations involved in the area of social justice and human rights.
His fiction writing includes Confessions of a Sanyasi, The Mahatma–a novel, The Death of an Activist, In Search of Shiva (A historical narrative based on the lives of Allama Prabhu, Akka Mahadevi and Basavanna, religious reformers/mystics of the 12th century Karnataka), Babasaheb Ambedkar: Trials with Truth, The Other Side of Belief: Interpreting U.G. Krishnamurti, The Penguin U.G. Krishnamurti Reader, Between the Serpent and the Rope—Ashrams, Traditions, Avatars, Sages and Con Artists, Buddha—An Alternative Narrative of His Life and Teaching and Sky-Clad: The Extraordinary Life and Times of Akka Mahadevi. Sky-Clad was longlisted for the Atta-Galatta BLF Book Prize 2018.
Mukunda Rao’s plays include Mahatma — a play (written originally in English and translated into Kannada by Sri K.V. Subbanna) and staged by NINASAM—Thirugata, in several districts of Karnataka. His Babasaheb — a play in Kannada was staged by Janamanadata-an intimate theatre, Heggode in 2008 in different parts of Karnataka, and again in 2014, the play was taken around the state.
Mukunda Rao lives with his wife, Renu, on a farm in Hale Kote at Devarayanadurga, outside Bengaluru. They keep an open house, do farming and run an informal school for village children.